Where is the shadow inventory?

For the last year, the real estate industry has been talking about shadow inventory and the coming flood of distressed properties. Where are they?

Here’s what’s happening, according to a recent paper by Alan Mallach, a senior fellow the Brookings Institution:

· Some delinquencies have been resolved through loan modifications or people working out the problems on their own.
· Banks are getting better at managing short sales.
· Investors are aggressively buying up properties, sometimes in bulk, directly from the banks or at courthouse auctions so they don’t hit the market.

The likeliest outcome, Mallach predicts, is a steady flow of foreclosures over a long timeframe that will prevent another crash in home prices, but will probably lead to low or no appreciation in home prices.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiaros (09/16/2010)

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